30 Replies Latest reply on Jun 10, 2010 1:39 AM by juerchr

    Build time in Robohelp 8

    Mark Pud Level 1
      Hi all,

      I've been playing around with the trial version of RH8 before making the upgrade from version 7, and after importing my project the main thing I've noticed is that it takes a lot longer to generate my primary layout (webhelp), and it seems to be spending most of it's time building the search...

      I can see that the search facility has been greatly modified and it looks better, but it does seem to take a long long time to generate builds in this version... roughly 30 mins where it was 5 mins or less in v7.

      My project has around 700 pages, and have not yet assigned any of the new "search keywords" (just added one to test it out)... Windows XP SP2 (I know!! corporate managed environment!!), Core 2 Duo 1.8GHz, 1GB RAM, running from C drive, not in source control...
        • 1. Re: Build time in Robohelp 8
          Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
          I've not found that but even on the PC with that speed processor, I have 3gb ram. That said I don't think that should make such a difference.

          Open one of the sample projects and try that.

          Also try the old trick of renaming the CPD or in Tools > Options you can get RH to rebuild the cache (same thing).

          • 2. Re: Build time in Robohelp 8
            RoboColum(n) Level 5
            Also I assume you are not generating/publishing to a network drive? If Peter's advice doesn't help, try created a new WebHelp single source layout.
            • 3. Re: Build time in Robohelp 8
              Mark Pud Level 1
              Hi again!

              Thanks for the replies...

              Peter, I tried the good old renaming the .cpd trick but that didn't make any difference...

              I did try building the sample project "CCC" with the WebHelp SSL, and that one built nice and fast (99 seconds), but in relative terms there is almost no content to index in that project.

              Calum, I've tried making a new SSL and this didn't help either i'm afraid...

              It seems to me that it's just taking far longer to process the search data part of the build, compare these 2 screenshots:

              RoboHelp 7

              RoboHelp 8

              The search does seem to be more powerful, e.g. the indexing of DOC and PPT etc baggages files so I could guess this is the cause of the slow-down.. but it's fustrating to wait for 30+ minutes for each build...!!

              There is some error message showing in the Output view too, but that is after it has already spent the long cold 30 mins or so building the search and has moved on to the template part of the build!!
              • 4. Re: Build time in Robohelp 8
                Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                I agree the size of the sample project is different but not the point where it explains 30 minutes. No project should take that long. I have 4/5,000 topic projects within a merge and they take nothing like that long.

                Can you install the trial on another machine and try it there?

                • 5. Re: Build time in Robohelp 8
                  Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                  Are you using RH for Word? There is reference to a macro in one of those screenshots which looks like a RH for Word thing.

                  Try resolving that first.

                  • 6. Re: Build time in Robohelp 8
                    m_lister
                    Hi Mark,

                    I am having the same issue in RH 8 (HTML). I recently upgraded from X5. My project is about 550 topics, and it took about 3-4 minutes to generate WebHelp output on my C:\ drive with X5, and now takes around 35 minutes using RH8.

                    My hardware is weaker than yours (P4 3Ghz, 1GB Ram, Win XP SP3), but we are both well above the recommended specification.

                    I have tried disabling all of the search options in the WebHelp layout dialog box (Show Context in Search Result, Enable Highlight Search Result, Enable Substring Search), but this seems to have little impact on the generation time.

                    I searched in the Help for how to disable Full text searching, as I think this may be the culprit, but I cannot find any information about that.
                    • 7. Re: Build time in Robohelp 8
                      RoboWizard Level 4
                      Hi there

                      To disable search for WebHelp output:
                      Click File Environment > Load Default Environment.
                      Click View > Pods > Single Source Layouts.
                      Right-click the WebHelp layout and choose Properties.
                      Click Next >.
                      In the Toolbar Buttons area clear the check mark for Search.

                      Generate and test. Please keep us updated with the results.

                      Cheers... Rick
                      • 8. Re: Build time in Robohelp 8
                        m_lister Level 1
                        Thanks for the suggestion Rick.

                        I disabled the Search and re-generated. The output didn't say "processing Full text search data", but it still took the same ridiculously long time to complete.

                        Any other suggestions?
                        • 9. Re: Build time in Robohelp 8
                          Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                          Create a two copies of your project.

                          In one, delete half the topics and ignore broken links. Compile.

                          In the other delete the other half of the topics and compile.

                          Does one work OK and one still take a long time.

                          If necessary split both halves again. I am hoping it will reveal a problem area.

                          • 10. Re: Build time in Robohelp 8
                            m_lister Level 1
                            quote:

                            Originally posted by: Peter Grainge
                            Create a two copies of your project.

                            In one, delete half the topics and ignore broken links. Compile.

                            In the other delete the other half of the topics and compile.

                            Does one work OK and one still take a long time.

                            If necessary split both halves again. I am hoping it will reveal a problem area.




                            I'm currently trying a compile with only half the topics in the project...still the same problem so far, so I will continue to reduce the number of topics until I get a quick generation, and then try to isolate the problem file from there.

                            I actually tried to cancel this generation after about 10 minutes, as it obviously wasn't working properly, and it took another 5 minutes to cancel! Is there a bigger problem here?
                            • 11. Re: Build time in Robohelp 8
                              Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP
                              Hi there

                              Did you notice what RoboHelp was doing at the moment you attempted to cancel? Was there a dialog or anything indicating what was in progress? Perhaps that would provide a clue.

                              According to my way cool Thunderbird add in (status bar clock) it should be nearly 11:30 PM where Peter lives. So he may well be tucked into bed by now.

                              I think he intended for you to now try repeating the process and begin by deleting the other half of the topics and see if the issue remains.

                              Personally I don't find it unusual whatsoever that a cancel isn't immediate. If my RoboHistory memory serves correctly we never had an ability to cancel WebHelp generation once it began. Then it was added in. But WebHelp generation doesn't happen all at once. There are different phases that occur. I believe if you click Cancel you have to wait until whatever phase it's in to complete before the cancel will actually occur.

                              Cheers... Rick
                              • 12. Re: Build time in Robohelp 8
                                Mark Pud Level 1
                                Hi all,

                                I will try to follow up on the suggestions about disabling the search, and/or deleting half the topics etc.. but unfortunately I'm not going to have chance to look at it today as the machine where i've installed RH8 trial is in use by a colleague..d'oh!

                                I'll report back tomorrow hopefully..
                                • 13. Re: Build time in Robohelp 8
                                  Mark Pud Level 1
                                  Hi again,

                                  We had the idea that it could be due to the large number of PDF's etc in the project as baggage.. so have experimented by deleting all of these... however it is still taking 30 mins or more to build this project...

                                  The next stage will be to try importing half of the pages into a brand new project... since this one has gone from X5 to v7 and now to v8 I'm guessing it is not as clean as it could be!
                                  • 14. Re: Build time in Robohelp 8
                                    Mark Pud Level 1
                                    Apologies for replying to my own post (again!) but I just wanted to add that I've created a new project in RH8, and imported a section of my pages (plus my stylesheet and skin) and watched as the build time increases as I add more content...

                                    With 94 pages added (and no baggage files), it now takes 275 seconds to build.. which is already twice as long as it took RH7 to build my 700+ page project (133 seconds)...

                                    Peter and others, have you not experienced this with your projects?? I've very concerned that this is not going to be solvable and i'm going to be stuck with a 30-40 min build time for my project... :(

                                    As an aisde, we use lots of DHTML Drop-down sections on our pages - not sure if others use these as much??
                                    • 15. Re: Build time in Robohelp 8
                                      RoboColum(n) Level 5
                                      Actually Mark I was just about to ask if you used lots of DHTML. I ask because in a past life I had to maintain a small help file of about 500 topics wbut which had dropdowns on most pages. What is more, it had dropdowns within dropdowns all over the place when I first took it on. Not only did the compile take 5 minutes (in RHX5) certain topics took a minutes or more to load!

                                      It sounds like you have found something else to test
                                      • 16. Re: Build time in Robohelp 8
                                        RoboColum(n) Level 5
                                        I don't suppose splitting up the project is an option?
                                        • 17. Re: Build time in Robohelp 8
                                          Mark Pud Level 1
                                          Splitting the project is not really viable unfortunately, as the users need to be able to search through it all in one go...

                                          I will try removing the DHTML from my test project.. but we use this lots (including drop downs within drop downs etc) and it is one of the "killer" features of my help system!

                                          Sadly it doesn't seem to be one of Adobe's favourite parts of the feature-set, e.g. the snippets not working within drop downs in v7...
                                          • 18. Re: Build time in Robohelp 8
                                            RoboColum(n) Level 5
                                            Splitting the project shouldn't affect the searching so don't discount that option for that reason. OK so you may have plenty of others.

                                            I actually found DHTML within DTHML works well except where it was used a lot. I guess it is a balance that you'll have to draw between usability and performance.
                                            • 19. Re: Build time in Robohelp 8
                                              Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                                              Can you let us have sight of the 94 topic version?

                                              If you can, send it via http://www.transferbigfiles.com or your preferred alternative.

                                              You can get an address from my site. Please email that address with a link to this thread but do not attach the project to that email.

                                              • 20. Re: Build time in Robohelp 8
                                                Mark Pud Level 1
                                                Hi Peter,

                                                Thanks for the offer!

                                                I'll have to do some work to strip out the confidential processes etc so that I don't lose my job ;-)

                                                So hopefully on Monday I will be able to send this over to you...
                                                • 21. Re: Build time in Robohelp 8
                                                  Pete Rossborough

                                                  Did you ever get this issue resolved?

                                                   

                                                  I have recently installed Robohelp 8 and am experiencing the same problem, although for me it is taking upwards of an hour to compile, taking the longest time when "processing full-text-search data".

                                                   

                                                  Any advice would be appreciated!

                                                   

                                                  Thanks

                                                   

                                                  Pete

                                                  • 22. Re: Build time in Robohelp 8
                                                    Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                    Hi there

                                                     

                                                    Where is your project located? Is it by chance on a network drive? If so, close things down, copy it to your C drive and try again. You will probably be astonished at the speed difference.

                                                     

                                                    Networks and RoboHelp project files are like trying to mix oil and water. WebHelp OUTPUT is fine on a network. But you don't want to open RoboHelp and then browse to a project on a network and make edits.

                                                     

                                                    Cheers... Rick

                                                     

                                                    Helpful and Handy Links

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                                                    • 23. Re: Build time in Robohelp 8
                                                      Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                                                      You don't tell us what you have tried from what has already been suggested.

                                                       


                                                      See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

                                                       

                                                      @petergrainge

                                                      • 24. Re: Build time in Robohelp 8
                                                        Pete Rossborough Level 1

                                                        Hi Rick,

                                                         

                                                        Thanks for the suggestion, but unfortunately the project is already on my C drive.  It is a fairly large project (741Mb, approx 9000 files) which was created in x5, and I only recently inherited it and had to try to figure out how to work with it on my own (I have no previous experience in help systems, so am relatively clueless!).  I know there are some PDFs in the project, but I don't know how many, or if this is causing the problem.

                                                         

                                                        The whole thing was taking about 5 minutes to generate to an intranet site from x5, but RH8 is taking over an hour.

                                                         

                                                        Any ideas of what else I can try?  Is there a way to exclude things from the full text search, since this looks to be what is taking up most of the generate time?

                                                         

                                                        Thanks

                                                        • 25. Re: Build time in Robohelp 8
                                                          Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                                                          You generate to a local drive, you publish to an intranet.

                                                           

                                                          Does the generate stage take longer than usual or is it just the publishing?

                                                           

                                                          When you publish do you have the Republish All box ticked?

                                                           

                                                          In my articles on merged webhelp, one of the reasons I cite for using it is to contain the size of a project. Typically I limit any one project to around five thousand topics but that's a figure I came up with where work starts slowing up. It could be more or less depending on size. However, if it was working in X5, it should work in RH8.

                                                           

                                                          I'm hoping the Republish All box got cleared in the upgrade and resetting it will fix things.

                                                           


                                                          See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

                                                           

                                                          @petergrainge

                                                          • 26. Re: Build time in Robohelp 8
                                                            Author care Level 2

                                                            Hi Peter,

                                                            Please can you advise what the Re-publish all button is for and when it should be used?

                                                            Are you saying that it should normally be unchecked?

                                                             

                                                            Thanks

                                                            • 27. Re: Build time in Robohelp 8
                                                              Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                                                              It should be used when you want to republish all topics.

                                                               

                                                              I am not saying it should be ticked or unticked as that is your call.

                                                               

                                                              • Unticked RH only publishes changed topics so there is less to upload to the server meaning the time taken to publish is reduced.
                                                              • Ticked all topics get uploaded regardless of whether they have changed. It can be useful if you are seeing a topic on the server that is not the latest but for some reason RH is not seeing it as changed so is not updating it.

                                                               


                                                              See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

                                                               

                                                              @petergrainge

                                                              • 28. Re: Build time in Robohelp 8
                                                                juerchr

                                                                Hi,

                                                                 

                                                                sorry for digging up this old topic. But I actually have the same issue with the generation in RH 8.

                                                                 

                                                                In RH 7 it took approximately 130 seconds in RH8 it takes forever 60 minutes plus.

                                                                 

                                                                But now comes the interesting thing. On my boss Laptop, which is even better then mine the above behavior happened.

                                                                On my PC though, it just takes the 130 seconds, which I find pretty strange.

                                                                 

                                                                When we use another machine it also takes ~ an hour. . So far I am the only one in the team for whom the generation is working  in a normal amount of time. The major difference is, that I never had RH 7 installed on my PC and  the other systems had.

                                                                 

                                                                It also stuck's for generating the Full-Text Search but nothing of the above mentioned steps provided any help.

                                                                 

                                                                Did anyone of you manage to fix this issue? Because the main machine for generating the layouts is not working properly and it is not a workable option to have the generation takes forever.

                                                                 

                                                                Short Information to the Project:

                                                                • ~200 Pages
                                                                • 60 MB in Size
                                                                • Mixture of htm, pdf and word files
                                                                • Limited amount of DHTML

                                                                 

                                                                Any help to this issue would be highly appreciated.

                                                                 

                                                                Thanks and best Regards

                                                                 

                                                                Christian

                                                                • 29. Re: Build time in Robohelp 8
                                                                  Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                                                                  Try deleting the CPD file and then opening RH.

                                                                   

                                                                  Have you applied the patches? If not I would do that before doing anything else. See the Sticky Topics in this forum.

                                                                   


                                                                  See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

                                                                   

                                                                  @petergrainge

                                                                  • 30. Re: Build time in Robohelp 8
                                                                    juerchr Level 1

                                                                    Hi,

                                                                     

                                                                    I actually found a partly solution for this. On the machines where the generation didn't work I excluded all embedded documents from the indexing functionality by modifying the respective XML file in the program directory.

                                                                     

                                                                    Though that still doesn't explain why it is working on my laptop but on no other machine.

                                                                     

                                                                    Thanks for the hints though, unfortunately they didn't fix that. Only the excluding of the office and PDF file formats resulted in a normal generation time.

                                                                     

                                                                    Best Regards

                                                                     

                                                                    Christian